ANDY RALEIGH has signed for Huddersfield Giants with the full blessing of Hull KR.
The 24-year-old Huddersfield-born back-row forward has starred for Rovers all season in National League I and was one of the club's prize assets.
But at the end of the season he will be leaving the east coast and returning to his hometown club.
Raleigh admitted that signing for the Giants was an easy decision to make, having dreamed of playing for his hometown club in Super League for a decade.
But he also admitted that telling Hull KR officials he was about to leave was something he dreaded.
"I didn't know how Rovers were going to react," said the former Moldgreen junior.
"But my coach at Rovers, Justin Morgan, took it really well.
"He knew there were a number of clubs looking at me and admitted he thought it was only a matter of time before I got a firm offer to play in Super League.
"And he also said that I'd made a good choice in joining the Giants.
"He's seen how the club has developed in Super League and firmly believes they have everything in place to get even stronger.
"I'd obviously joined the Giants at that stage, but his comments helped re-inforce my beliefs that I had made the right move."
Raleigh had hoped for some time that the Giants would show an interest in him.
He had reluctantly left the club four years ago in order to finish his geography degree studies at Newcastle University.
Since then he has played for Sheffield Eagles as well as Hull KR.
But he always kept a close eye on the Giants, and when they began to show an interest in him he jumped at the chance of making a return.
"Huddersfield have gone from strength to strength over the past few years, and I'm excited knowing I'll be a part of their future," he added.
"The squad is getting stronger all the team, and it seems to me like Jon Sharp is a fantastic coach.
"When I played for the Giants in the Academy, I was a teammate of Eorl Crabtree and it was obvious he had potential.
"But you can see how that potential has been fulfilled under Jon in the past two years. What I hope is that Jon can do the same for me.
"I obviously believe I have the ability to do well in Super League, but I know I'll need to put in a lot of work if I'm to reach my goal of becoming a regular in the side.
"But that's what I intend to be, and I intend to work as hard as possible to make sure that happens.
"Looking at the quality of the squad, it's clear there is going to be a lot of competition for places and I'm going to have to fight my way in.
"But strong competition helps bring the best out of you, and I hope that's what it does for me."